I bit the bullet, and adapted the Blueprint (A1) I'd made at my recent sewing retreat to make myself a top with a gathered neckline (instead of a bust dart). I made it in a stretch fabric and, even so, I put the original waist and shoulder darts in.
My dart sewing was spot on, I was really proud. Unfortunately, I made a couple of silly errors, and I put it down and left it a day or so before I came back to it and attempted to salvage it.
It came out OK, definitely wearable. Bit baggy - or "tunic style" as I am callinh it - but that was to be expected as I didn't adjust the sizing. The front , back and sleeve were stuck on to Tailor's Card (along with a fabric sample) for posterity, and clearly labelled as "A2"
I immediately started working on another adaptation, this time removing the waist darts but to leave everything else the same. I then cut out fabric for a second version, and waited a day to start construction. I used the same fabric as the first so I could compare and contrast the fit, without having different fabric potentially blurring things.
I used my coverstitch machine, and it did a grand job of the hems and the sleeves.
It also came out well enough to be wearable, so I taped the pieces to card and labelled them as A3.
Of course I'll need to trace them off if I want to use them again, but that's OK. If I find a fit I really love I'll make a card template.
My next foray will be another adaptation. This time (probably) a sort of peasant-blouse-style neckline. I'll use a less stretchy fabric, so I'll probably need to use the A2 version of the bodice and maybe just not sew the darts. It depends how much ease there will be.
I might wait a day or two.